Category Archives: Urban scene

Oxford Road, with people

Thursday 16th September 2021, 9.10am (day 3,675)

MMU, Oxford Road, 17/9/21

In recent years I have adapted my walk into campus so I don’t go down Oxford Road, but today was an exception, for trivial reasons. It’s the main thoroughfare between the two universities and the city centre, and walking along it today at least allowed an appreciation of the fact that there are people back in view, doing things, enriching the local environment. The big influx of students hasn’t happened yet — but next week this should be heaving. And it’s all the better for it. I heard from an academic colleague today about the research showing how lockdown, spending 100% of our time in one place, is devastating for our ability to actually form new knowledge and long-term memories. Why are there those who love it and crave it?

Anyway, no more pandemic politics for now. I merely regret, slightly, that the angles are not quite right on this one.

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Flood defence — the prelude

Wednesday 15th September 2021, 10.25am (day 3,674)

Old Gate fences, 15/9/21

These fences along Old Gate are, doubtless, the prelude to the building of new flood defences in the town. Now one might consider this a good thing, particularly if one’s property has ended up under water on one of the four occasions (count ’em) that the town centre has been inundated even just in the lifetime of this blog (June 2012, July ’12, Dec ’15, Feb ’20).

But in the first place, one can question the necessity of these works — or at least, wonder why they have been prioritised over known strategies of flood prevention that could take place on the moors above the town. But that land is all owned by the Walshaw estate, who want to continue burning heather and ensuring the peat bogs don’t hold the rain that falls, because it’s uneconomic for them to do that; so they push the problem down-valley, and now Heben will push it further down, and unless we build walls all the way down to the North Sea, some poor bastard will get that water in the end.

Second, all this will most likely turn the pleasant, leafy environs of the Hebden Water into a stripped-bare drainage channel — as similar ones have in Mytholmroyd. If the foliage in the background of this shot is still there in a few months’ time, I will take this back. But I doubt it. So the attractiveness of the town centre (and it does matter — many of the shops here would not exist without tourism) will be ruined, and we’ll still be blind to the real causes of the problem; bad land management and climate change.

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View from Rochdale station

Wednesday 8th September 2021, 11.30am (day 3,667)

View from Rochdale station, 8/9/21

An abstract, really; going monochrome also disguises a main feature of the shot, the impressively blue skies, reflecting another day of pleasantly Mediterranean weather. But this one is about the shapes and the textures.

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Heading for campus, early

Tuesday 7th September 2021, 8.05am (day 3,666)

Manchester morning, 7/9/21

Did something I had not done since 28th July, and went to campus. The scenes are much the same as they have ever been, but the weather is certainly very fine at the moment. A ‘goodlife’ indeed, even at 8.05am.

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End of the week

Friday 3rd September 2021, 5.15pm (day 3,662)

Stacking chairs, 3/9/21

It’s not been the most dynamic week, though work was done. Time to pack up and look forward to the weekend.

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Potatoe insult

Thursday 2nd September 2021, 1.35pm (day 3,661)

Bird is a potatoe, 2/9/21

There are so many questions begged by this corner of Calder Holmes Park that I don’t even know where to start. Who is ‘Bird’? Why is s/he called that? Is the superhero graffito connected in any way? What have they done to deserve being called a ‘potatoe’ and has Dan Quayle been involved?

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Back to work

Tuesday 31st August 2021, 10.35am (day 3,659)

White Lion wall work, 31/8/21

This is a very boring photo. In that respect it epitomises my day perfectly. The title of the post says it all.

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The Pride of the Gotham Hotel

Saturday 28th August 2021, 12.50pm (day 3,656)

Pride of Gotham, 28/8/21

Passed through Manchester city centre this afternoon. Somewhere over there –> the annual Pride festival was taking place, but this is as near as I got to it, so let me pay homage by depicting this well-adorned statue outside the uber-hip Gotham Hotel.

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Contemplation (10 years on)

Wednesday 25th August 2021, 8.20am (day 3,653)

Hastings Pier, 25/8/21

I started this blog on 26th August 2011, ten full years ago. Since then I have become ten years older, greyer, stouter. I do not pass judgment on whether I am wiser by a decade; only that the last 18 months have made me more cynical. This morning, our last in Hastings, I sat on the shingle beneath Hastings Pier and, like this couple, contemplated the sea on a warm and pleasant morning.

And the next ten years? If you’re still interested, follow along.

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Life as a roller coaster

Tuesday 24th August 2021, 5.50pm (day 3,652)

Roller coaster, 24/8/21

The roller coaster as symbolic of the seaside holiday. The roller coaster as a metaphor for life; are we on the upslope or heading down?

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